Brian S Maitner

Brian S Maitner
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York | SUNY Buffalo

Doctor of Philosophy

About

69
Publications
77,045
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1,763
Citations
Introduction
Brian S Maitner currently works at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Arizona. His work focuses on community ecology, macroecology, ecoinformatics, and biological invasions. He is a member of the BIEN, OpenTraits and phylosynth working groups.
Education
August 2014 - June 2020
The University of Arizona
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
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There is an urgent need for large-scale botanical data to improve our understanding of community assembly, coexistence, biogeography, evolution, and many other fundamental biological processes. Understanding these processes is critical for predicting and handling human-biodiversity interactions and global change dynamics such as food and energy sec...
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Species richness of marine mammals and birds is highest in cold, temperate seas—a conspicuous exception to the general latitudinal gradient of decreasing diversity from the tropics to the poles. We compiled a comprehensive dataset for 998 species of sharks, fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds to identify and quantify inverse latitudinal gradients in...
Article
The geographic range and ecological niche of species are widely used concepts in ecology, evolution and conservation and many modelling approaches have been developed to quantify each. Niche and distribution modelling methods require a litany of design choices; differences among subdisciplines have created communication barriers that increase isola...
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Synthesizing trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Species traits are widely used in ecological and evolutionary science, and new data and methods have proliferated rapidly. Yet accessing and integrating disparate data sources remains a considerable challenge, slowing progress t...
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The last two decades have seen growing use of phylogenetic patterns to test hypotheses predicting the success of introduced species. Nearly all of these tests have focused on hypotheses pertaining to phylogenetic relatedness between introduced species and those of the recipient community, largely neglecting hypotheses regarding phylogenetic relatio...
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Safeguarding Earth’s tree diversity is a conservation priority due to the importance of trees for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services such as carbon sequestration. Here, we improve the foundation for effective conservation of global tree diversity by analyzing a recently developed database of tree species covering 46,752 species. We q...
Preprint
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Massive biological databases of species occurrences, or georeferenced locations where a species has been observed, are essential inputs for modeling present and future species distributions. Location accuracy is often assessed by determining whether the observation geocoordinates fall within the boundaries of the declared political divisions. This...
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Massive biological databases of species occurrences, or georeferenced locations where a species has been observed, are essential inputs for modeling present and future species distributions. Location accuracy is often assessed by determining whether the observation geocoordinates fall within the boundaries of the declared political divisions. This...
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Cactaceae (cacti), a New World plant family, is one of the most endangered groups of organisms on the planet. Conservation planning is uncertain as it is unclear whether climate and land-use change will positively or negatively impact global cactus diversity. On the one hand, a common perception is that future climates will be favourable to cacti a...
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Addressing global environmental challenges requires access to biodiversity data across wide spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales. Availability of such data has increased exponentially recently with the proliferation of biodiversity databases. However, heterogeneous coverage, protocols, and standards have hampered integration among these databases...
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One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknow...
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One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknow...
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Competing phylogenetic models have been proposed to explain the success of species introduced to other communities. Here, we present a study predicting the establishment success of birds introduced to Florida, Hawaii and New Zealand using several alternative models, considering species' phylogenetic relatedness to source- and recipient-range taxa,...
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To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, the international community requires clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially and how multiple targets can be pursued concurrently. To support goal setting and the implementation of international strategies and action plans, spatial guidance is needed...
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Biodiversity contributes to the ecological and climatic stability of the Amazon Basin1,2, but is increasingly threatened by deforestation and fire3,4. Here we quantify these impacts over the past two decades using remote-sensing estimates of fire and deforestation and comprehensive range estimates of 11,514 plant species and 3,079 vertebrate specie...
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Trait-based ecology aims to understand the processes that generate the overarching diversity of organismal traits and their influence on ecosystem functioning. Achieving this goal requires simplifying this complexity in synthetic axes defining a trait space and to cluster species based on their traits while identifying those with unique combination...
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Aim: Addressing global environmental challenges requires access to biodiversity data across wide spatial, temporal and biological scales. Recent decades have witnessed an exponential increase of biodiversity information aggregated by biodiversity databases (hereafter ‘databases’). However, heterogeneous coverage, protocols, and standards of databas...
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The amount of observational and specimen-based biodiversity data available to researchers is increasing exponentially, yet the ability to manage and cite large, complex biodiversity datasets lags behind. This management and citation gap impedes reproducibility for data users and the ability for data publishers to track use and accumulate use citati...
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Estimating the distribution of phenotypes in populations and communities is central to many questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. These distributions can be characterized by their moments: the mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis. Typically, these moments are calculated using a community-weighted approach (e.g. community-weighted mean) w...
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Competing phylogenetic models have been proposed to explain the success of species introduced to other communities. Here, we present a study predicting the establishment success of birds introduced to Florida, Hawaii, and New Zealand using several alternative models, considering species' phylogenetic relatedness to source and recipient range taxa,...
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Aim Climate is usually regarded as the main determinant of plant species distributions. However, past human use of species for food might also have influenced distributions. We hypothesized that human‐mediated dispersal has resulted in food plants occupying more of their potential geographical range. We also hypothesized that key ecological traits...
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The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, leading to rapid changes in species composition and plant functional trait variation. Landscape-level maps of vegetation composition and trait distributions are required to expand spatially-limited plot studies, overcome sampling biases associated with the most accessible research areas...
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A fundamental assumption in trait-based ecology is that relationships between traits and environmental conditions are globally consistent. We use field-quantified microclimate and soil data to explore if trait–environment relationships are generalizable across plant communities and spatial scales. We collected data from 6,720 plots and 217 species...
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Aim To quantify the impact of the 2019–2020 megafires on Australian plant diversity by assessing burnt area across 26,062 species ranges and the effects of fire history on recovery potential. Further, to exemplify a strategic approach to prioritizing plant species affected by fire for recovery actions and conservation planning at a national scale....
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Climate change is causing species’ ranges to shift, many at unprecedented rates, all across the planet. This poses a challenge for planning and management of biodiversity conservation through area-based conservation, as conserved areas are fixed in place. However, nearly a decade of research shows that strategic planning for new conserved areas can...
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As Open Science practices become more commonplace, there is a need for the next generation of scientists to be well versed in these aspects of scientific research. Yet, many training opportunities for early career researchers (ECRs) could better emphasize or integrate Open Science elements. Field courses provide opportunities for ECRs to apply theo...
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Both historical and contemporary environmental conditions determine present biodiversity patterns, but their relative importance is not well understood. One way to disentangle their relative effects is to assess how different dimensions of beta-diversity relate to past climatic changes, i.e., taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional compositional dis...
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Identifying species that are both geographically restricted and functionally distinct, i.e. supporting rare traits and functions, is of prime importance given their risk of extinction and their potential contribution to ecosystem functioning. We use global species distributions and functional traits for birds and mammals to identify the ecologicall...
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Functional trait data enhance climate change research by linking climate change, biodiversity response, and ecosystem functioning, and by enabling comparison between systems sharing few taxa. Across four sites along a 3000–4130 m a.s.l. gradient spanning 5.3 °C in growing season temperature in Mt. Gongga, Sichuan, China, we collected plant function...
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Trees are of vital importance for ecosystem functioning and services at local to global scales, yet we still lack a detailed overview of the global patterns of tree diversity and the underlying drivers, particularly the imprint of paleoclimate. Here, we present the high-resolution (110 km) worldwide mapping of tree species richness, functional and...
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A key challenge in ecology is to understand the relationships between organismal traits and ecosystem processes. Here, with a novel dataset of leaf length and width for 10 480 woody dicots in China and 2374 in North America, we show that the variation in community mean leaf size is highly correlated with the variation in climate and ecosystem prima...
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Darwin proposed two seemingly contradictory hypotheses regarding factors influencing the outcome of biological invasions. He initially posited that nonnative species closely related to native species would be more likely to successfully establish, because they might share adaptations to the local environment (preadaptation hypothesis). However, bas...
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Although trees are key to ecosystem functioning, many forests and tree species across the globe face strong threats. Preserving areas of high biodiversity is a core priority for conservation; however, different dimensions of biodiversity and varied conservation targets make it difficult to respond effectively to this challenge. Here, we (i) identif...
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paragraph To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, countries and the international community require clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially, and multiple targets be pursued concurrently ¹ . To support governments and political conventions, spatial guidance is needed to identify which areas...
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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Limiting climate change to less than 2°C is the focus of international policy under the climate convention (UNFCCC), and is essential to preventing extinctions, a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The post-2020 biodiversity framework drafted by the CBD proposes conserving 30% of both land and oceans by 2030. However, the combin...
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Limiting climate change to less than 2°C is the focus of international policy under the climate convention (UNFCCC), and is essential to preventing extinctions, a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The post‐2020 biodiversity framework drafted by the CBD proposes conserving 30% of both land and oceans by 2030. However, the combin...
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Spatially continuous data on functional diversity will improve our ability to predict global change impacts on ecosystem properties. We applied methods that combine imaging spectroscopy and foliar traits to estimate remotely sensed functional diversity in tropical forests across an Amazon-to-Andes elevation gradient (215 to 3537 m). We evaluated th...
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A key feature of life’s diversity is that some species are common but many more are rare. Nonetheless, at global scales, we do not know what fraction of biodiversity consists of rare species. Here, we present the largest compilation of global plant diversity to quantify the fraction of Earth’s plant biodiversity that are rare. A large fraction, ~36...
Preprint
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A key feature of life’s diversity is that some species are common but many more are rare. Nonetheless, at global scales, we do not know what fraction of biodiversity consists of rare species. Here, we present the largest compilation of global plant species observation data in order to quantify the fraction of Earth’s extant land plant biodiversity...
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2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. In this Letter, the middle initial of author G. J. Nabuurs was omitted, and he should have been associated with an additional affiliation: ‘Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands’ (now added as affiliation 18...
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A spatially explicit global map of tree symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi reveals that climate variables are the primary drivers of the distribution of different types of symbiosis.
Preprint
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Synthesising trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Despite the well-recognised importance of traits for addressing ecological and evolutionary questions, trait-based approaches still struggle with several basic data requirements to deliver openly accessible, reproducible, and tr...
Article
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The concept of the biome has a long history dating back to Carl Ludwig Willdenow and Alexander von Humboldt. However, while the association between climate and the structure and diversity of vegetation has a long history, scientists have only recently begun to develop a more synthetic understanding of biomes based on the evolution of plant diversit...
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In a rapidly changing climate, alpine plants may persist by adapting to new conditions. However, the rate at which the climate is changing might exceed the rate of adaptation through evolutionary processes in long-lived plants. Persistence may depend on phenotypic plasticity in morphology and physiology. Here we investigated patterns of leaf trait...
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The functional composition of plant communities is commonly thought to be determined by contemporary climate. However, if rates of climate‐driven immigration and/or exclusion of species are slow, then contemporary functional composition may be explained by paleoclimate as well as by contemporary climate. We tested this idea by coupling contemporary...
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Providing science and society with an integrated, up‐to‐date, high quality, open, reproducible and sustainable plant tree of life would be a huge service that is now coming within reach. However, synthesizing the growing body of DNA sequence data in the public domain and disseminating the trees to a diverse audience are often not straightforward du...
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Trees play crucial roles in the biosphere and societies worldwide, with a total of 60,065 tree species currently identified. Increasingly, a large amount of data on tree species occurrences is being generated worldwide: from inventories to pressed plants. While many of these data are currently available in big databases, several challenges hamper t...
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Tropical elevation gradients are natural laboratories to assess how changing climate can influence tropical forests. However, there is a need for theory and integrated data collection to scale from traits to ecosystems. We assess predictions of a novel trait-based scaling theory, including whether observed shifts in forest traits across a broad tro...
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Hutchinson's n-dimensional hypervolume concept underlies many applications in contemporary ecology and evolutionary biology. Estimating hypervolumes from sampled data has been an ongoing challenge due to conceptual and computational issues. 2.We present new algorithms for delineating the boundaries and probability density within n-dimensional hyper...